31 July 2009

Quilting in the Hunter Valley

Here I am in Lamb's Valley - upper Hunter Valley NSW. My bed has a quilt on it, perfect!

My sewing machine is ready to go, what a view! ...

These are the doilies that my gorgeous aunties are going to cut up (gulp) and sew into two quilts - no squabbling allowed!

And, these are the ones that simply are NOT allowed to be cut ...

And, this is the fabulous fire, thanks Uncle ... xxxx


29 July 2009

Take a peak - August duQ is online now!

The AUGUST digital issue of Down Under Quilts is READY now ... the printed copy will NOT be out til late next week, so if you want to delight yourself, get in early, go online now and get absorbed. Just click on the link at the right of the blog ... and add your details to sign up for your FREE digital subscription.

Erica's quilt is on the front cover, its truly gorgeous - don't you think!

Check out the special feature on PINCUSHIONS, and the exciting challenge - take a look - maybe your pincushion creation will win ...
Look Inside >>
Issue 135, 2009

I suppose you know by now, but take a look anyway - Mariya Waters won Best of Show at the AQS in May. The prize is cash - $20,000 - and the quilt is acquired to be the property of the American Quilt Museum in Paducah - well done Mariya, what a fabulous fabulous quilt and such a prestigious award. The quilt deserves ALL the accolades it has received. Now it can take a rest and reside in a museum for posterity.

We share an amazing quilt by Linda Robertus, that creates an optical illusion - Linda please accept my humble apologies that your surname was spelt incorrectly...


28 July 2009

Robin's WRAP

I forgot to share a photo with you, from my visit to the WRAP exhibition last Friday. I mentioned below that I met a few of the group, and I shared some of Robin's work. This photo is Robin's jacket, made from tweed jackets... and take a closer peak inside, look at the labels. Click on the pic to get up close and personal!

27 July 2009

Awesome Quilting & Best Use of Colour

While visiting Erica's blog I read about the recent Victorian Quilt Showcase, and of course followed the link - which i URGE you to do right now! OMG - the quilting on those quilts is AWESOME, take a look. Keep scrolling down and you will come to the winner of the Down Under Quilts Best Use of Colour award - what a beauty!

24 July 2009

WRAP Unwrapped

Today I went to the city to see the WRAP Unwrapped exhibition and listen to a floor talk by two of the talented members of the group. The talk was about the history of the wagga, the background to the exhibition and the stories collected by the nine-member group along the way. I met three of the WRAP members - Robin Kaltenbach, Annette Glare and Prue Hill.

Nine women banded together to research the history of waggas -a 'make do' blanket or quilt synonymous with the depression era in Australia, although its provenance goes back further. The end result is an enlightening exhibition that echoes the history of a frugal, make do item, juxtaposed with the future - shining pieces inspired by Australia's waggas. The groups technical expressions included embroidery, swatches, felting and fabric, assembled into such diverse pieces as umbrellas, a jackets, a book, baskets and wall-hangings.

Robin and I

I was particularly taken by the pieces created by Robin. I was intrigued to see that the inspiration Robin drew from the humble, and mostly dour-coloured wagga interpreted itself into bright embroidered pieces. Along the way her journey also included learning to use an Embellishing Machine, and the results are fun, whimsical and happy - a nice translation of Australia's waggas I thought!

An example of some of Robin's embroidery, that she created onto a woolen sample, experimenting with the Embellisher Machine.

I dont know what has happened to the colour here :-(, but at least you can see the gorgeous flowers Robin has created on her exhibition piece.

Visit the WRAP blog to see and learn more.


PS, thanks Erica (BB) - the html was on DUH!

21 July 2009

Photo Shoot & Goodwill

My favourite days in the life of an editor, are the days we do photography. Today we photographed four quilts on location and took some groovy close ups to tempt you even further. The quilts we photographed were three for the October issue and one that Erica made using selvedges for a future issue.

It is so much fun being able express oneself creatively through the medium of images. And when you work with two such fabulously creative and talented souls - hi Georgie (stylist) and Jim (photographer) its almost impossible to stop at one picture.

We propped one of the October issue's quilts (you'll love it, it is a collaborative quilt by Sue Spargo and Sarah Fielke) with amazing wooden bowls from Ethiopa. Here are the two we used today, and they are filled with glorious beads (also for sale).

Georgie (our stylist) and her husband Joe, adopted their gorgeous daughter Poppy from Ethiopa. They have been focused on supporting African charities, and their latest venture is to import an amazing array of artefacts and sell them here to raise funds.

This Saturday 25 July they are hosting a Goodwill Gathering at their home, where you can see and buy lots of new stock. If you are interested, send me a message and I will send you the details.

I had a sneak preview today, and have already put my red SOLD sticker on the larger of the two bowls in the photo.


15 July 2009

Wagga Exhibition in Sydney

In the May issue of Down Under Quilts (get your FREE subscription!) we featured a fabulous collection of pieces inspired by the humble Australian icon - The Wagga. As quilters we are generally au fait with this term, but 'look closer' and you will discover so much more!

The collection is called Wrap-Unwrapped and includes quilts and textiles that have resulted from the responses the nine members of the WRAP group have experienced during their research into the wagga rug.

The collection is showing in Sydney at the NSW Parliament House, Macquarie St, Sydney until 30 July 09. This Friday 17 and next Friday 24 at 11am, there is also a free, one hour, illustrated talk and discussion in the Parliamentary Theatrette . This will be about the history of the wagga, the background to the exhibition and the stories collected along the way.

Sounds fascinating to me, I hope to get there on the 24th ... might see you there! If you cant make it, visit the groups' blog, Wrap-Waggas to find out more about wagga rugs and the groups' activities.


13 July 2009

A winner!

Well done to Anne in NZ... we will contact you for your details for your FREE print subscription.

Craft in the mountains and beyond...

We went on a small adventure on the weekend. Myself and Mason and Eloise caught the train to Springwood, in the Blue Mountains (west of Sydney). My daughter Tara-Lea (25yo) picked us up and we had a 'sleep over' at her home.

On Saturday morning we dawdled down the main street of Springwood and back again. We passed an amazing Banksia Tree. Look at these beauties - they were almost 30cm each in length! My daughter was a little concerned (and embarressed) that I looked like a tourist, No, just an appreciator of beauty I corrected.

We also visited the local Make, Bake it or Grow it markets - The Springwood Community IVY Market (on every second Saturday February to December).

This is where I purchased this oh-so-adorable knitted hedgehog.

We also purchased some new clothes for Eloise's baby-boy doll, Kai. He had come along for the adventure and was not suitably attired for the cold weather, so we bought him a knitted hat and scarf, and a fleecy tracksuit! Now he is warm, and ever so well-dressed.

Phillip picked us up after lunch, and we journeyed further on, over the mountains, to Oberon, to his brother and sister-in-laws' cute log cabin cottage - and we had a 'sleep over' there too!

On Sunday we had a long leisurely drive home - 5 1/2 hours - stopping at antique shops (got some more doilies Aunties!), playgrounds (for the kids) and then lunch in Leura. And I had a lovely nap in the car, I love sleeping in the warmth of a car on a winter's journey.


She who finds page numbers first, wins!

A few weeks ago I gave you a sneak peak at the front cover of the July issue... you remember, the 'pink' one with Sarah's quilt on the cover?

Go online now, sign up for your free subscription, then browse the July issue and email me with the page numbers for all of these snapshots. Or, if you have your own digital or printed version already, you have a head start...

The first person whom gets back to me with all correct answers will receive a FREE SIX months Printed Subscription (if you already have one, it will extend by 6months).


08 July 2009

Sewing (or not) with Erica

Ahh, yesterday I finished the contents of Down Under Quilts 136 - the BLOKEY September issue... a little closer to its release date I will tease you with some photos...

For now, I get a few days to take a breath before I start the next issue. And what great timing, cause today is my once a month get-together with Erica.

Once a month Erica and I get together for about half a day and sew, or knit, or ... today we did neither, we were too busy chatting about a number of things to thread a needle!

We looked at the new ArtQuiltingStudio magazine, and I cut some selvedges off my fabrics for Erica ...

We had Banana Cake (which I baked this morning) and coffee that Erica picks up at the local Birchgrove cafe - Charlottes - my favourite! ... I think we both had two pieces of cake ... but who's counting!

See the little zipper bag? It says Make a Friend, stitched in chain stitch, with a button sewn on... I got it from Smiggles, don't you think it's too cute?

I got to see Erica's latest blocks in the ... fabric... they're zingy and fresh and so delectable.

I rearranged my Spotty Spikes to reveal a STAR between each, rather than a small square (well smallish-8in, compared to the size of the 'star'). I've got to say, and Erica concurs, the stars are better! What do you think? The fabric isn't filling the space real well, but you get the drift?

It means the quilt will now be two x three rows. Much more manageable - size wise, I was afraid that the quilt might up and eat me when it was three x three - it was so big and menacing.

And Erica showed me how to do a few more things on my blog ... hence it's re-arranged and a little disarrayed (until my skills improve).

AND, we talked about our trip to England and Paris - mon dieu! what fun we will have Cherie.

See Erica's blog for the cute little bag tags we are using - we will bematching, mine is pink, and her's is blue. We are so excited about the trip, and have lots of planning to do, woo hoo.


03 July 2009

Oodles of Doilies

A few days ago I purchased a bundle of doilies on eBay, today they arrived. What fun I will have with these. Most will go to my Aunty Dossie who wants to make a quilt with cut-up doilies and embroideries. Although Aunty, it wont be easy to cut into these beauties... aren't they gorgeous?


Love these pincushions

I found this gorgeous blog yesterday, The Patchwork Orange. Melinda is an Australian living in Singapore. She has very graciously put up the instructions to make these adorable pincushions on her blog. I will be making one (or two?) this weekend. Thanks for permission to share Melinda.

02 July 2009

A blogger or a quilter today?

Today I received two books I have been waiting for - Art Quilting Studio - premier edition, and Artful Blogging. Both are produced by Somerset Studio of USA, and sold in Australia by The Thread Studio.

I have been following their magazines for around 15 years, when they first produced a magazine actually called Somerset Studio - which was a collection of amazing stamping creations. Over the years they have widened their range to include all crafts and in true Somerset Studio style, every one is produced to exacting standards, with THE most divine contents.

My dilemma is which one to start with? Then, there is the pile of guild newsletters, magazine subscriptions and various reading material that is also demanding to be read.

And, then, there is duQ September issue to finish off ... I think today I will only have time to be an editor, sigh, tomorrow I will reassess.


01 July 2009

Poor little camellia

Standing in my kitchen this morning, I glanced outside and noticed that the poor little camellia flower that has been struggling on the sick tree has opened. In Sydney for the past two days, the weather has been quite temperate, so out I went without any slippers, and took some photos of it.

While I was there I thought I would photograph a few that are growing. I am possibly the world's worst gardener, if a plant is 'needy' (you know, when they want fertilizer, or water!) then they may not survive on my watch. These vegies are surviving, fortunately, maybe its all that rain we had for four weeks?


Sweet sweet peas

On Monday we photographed some projects for Down Under Quilts. We shot three bags, and a journal. One of the bag photos will become the front cover of the September issue - its still a secret, but I'm sure you'll love it, I will share a sneak peak late August.

Meanwhile, I will share a photo of the beautiful sweet peas I purchased for the shoot, aren't they divine, don't you love the variegated pink?


Year 1 Artwork

Each year, each class makes a collaborative artwork, which is auctioned at the Trivia Night to raise funds for my kids' school. This year I volunteered to coordinate Eloise's year one artwork, with a degree of trepidation. What on earth could we do, they are only six years old, and the other parent coordinators were so talented. I am not competitive, but I wanted ours to be the best!

After a couple of hours I developed an artwork that included the children stitching onto felt shapes with Perle thread and attaching buttons. They really enjoyed it, and the boys had a ball.

Another mum and I attached all the shapes onto a large canvas (1.2m x 1.6m) into a 'tree' and glued buttons randomly too. The colours don't look right in this photo :-(, they are light pink, deep pink and light and dark green...

The artwork raised $400 at the Trivia Night on Saturday. Next year, I am planning on raising $800, so Ill have to raise the bar with my idea... hmm... maybe a quilt, king size? no, I am not competitive...